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Old 12-06-2015, 10:45   #16
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

We don't mess with it here as we are more at the dock plugged in than at anchor, but when cruising full time and at anchor we would pull the boom out with block and tackle to "unshade" the panels we had on the bimini. That dramatically improves panel output of course.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:49   #17
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

Here in the PNW, the summer months often lack wind. If I had to choose I would go Solar. But for this specific area, I would go with neither. Due to strong currents (to 15 knots! at extreme) but 3-4 knots often. Fluky winds etc. You often motor. Probably 80% of the time. Charging the batteries is often not an issue.
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Old 18-06-2015, 14:13   #18
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Here in the PNW, the summer months often lack wind. If I had to choose I would go Solar. But for this specific area, I would go with neither. Due to strong currents (to 15 knots! at extreme) but 3-4 knots often. Fluky winds etc. You often motor. Probably 80% of the time. Charging the batteries is often not an issue.
It depends on how often you leave the anchor, of course, but the first thing to install is a 100 Amp alternator, then maybe a small solar to supplement if you want to spend a few days at anchor.

We have 400 Ah of batteries, a 100A Balmar and an old 80W panel. We have 12V fridge and all LED lights (very important to upgrade your lights, especially the anchor light).

We go for week long trips in the summer and weekend trips in the winter. The battery never drops below 75%.
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Old 18-06-2015, 16:21   #19
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
It depends on how often you leave the anchor, of course, but the first thing to install is a 100 Amp alternator, then maybe a small solar to supplement if you want to spend a few days at anchor.

We have 400 Ah of batteries, a 100A Balmar and an old 80W panel. We have 12V fridge and all LED lights (very important to upgrade your lights, especially the anchor light).

We go for week long trips in the summer and weekend trips in the winter. The battery never drops below 75%.
I agree totally with the alternator. my response was to the original question: wind or solar.
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Old 27-06-2015, 01:06   #20
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

I installed my 750watts of panels in May. Excellent service and advice from Jeremy, at Webster Solar in Vancouver. The outback MPPT controller shook hands immediately with my inverter (also Outback, so while I'd expected it to, it was nice to see it seamlessly integrate). I flicked the switches at 07:00, and watched the meter climb straight up to 28amps. This is in the PNW in May, before breakfast.



By the time I'd had my eggs, she was into the 30s, and she peaked at midday on 41amps. I pulled over 300ah that first day.



The next few days were occasionally overcast, but I saw 250+ah each day: I even got 160 on a day where it rained 50% of the time.



All in all, a great success.

At the same time, I'd increased my house bank from a miserly 440ah to 900ah, and the combination of the two factors now means that I can confidently stay on the hook this summer, probably indefinitely, if the sun is shining.



Really glad I made the jump, and can heartily recommend it to others in the PNW, who might have doubted the sun's potential (as I had done!)


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Old 27-06-2015, 09:33   #21
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

This is definitely the year for solar in WA!
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Old 27-06-2015, 09:52   #22
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Re: Pacific north west - solar?

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This is definitely the year for solar in WA!
Yep but we need all that power just to run the ac so we can sleep at night this year
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